Republican Debate 2015 CNBC Review: Latinos, Groups React to Winners, Losers of GOP Debate
Latinos are responding to the third Republican presidential debate -- the winners, losers and how it reflected on the electorate.
The Latino Victory Fund (LVF) -- the political arm of the Latino Victory Project, an organization seeking to engage Latino voters and donors and develop the next Latino leaders -- commended the Republican presidential candidates for toning down rhetoric, but the Latino electorate remains attentive on the issues and the lack thereof.
LVF President Cristóbal Alex said in a statement that Latinos are listening, but based on Wednesday night's debate, "[Latinos] still haven't heard what the candidates have to offer [their] community."
"We heard the same immigration talking points and policies that will hurt our families, and a discussion of economic reforms that will do nothing to address our stagnant wages and instead will give tax breaks to corporations," Alex said. "Latinos want to hear a workable plan to lower the cost of higher education, and a plan to bring 11 million people out of the shadows. We want to hear policy solutions that will create jobs and increase protections and opportunities for our families."
U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Javier Palomarez, who has conducted interviews with several Democratic and Republican presidential candidates, also commended the CNBC debate.
"Pleased to see more substance and less spectacle tonight from the real GOP candidates -- Rubio, Bush and Kasich. 2016 needs to be a year of action, not just words. A proven track record not fictitious rhetoric. Leadership, not lip service," Palomarez said.
Mi Familia Vota, a nonprofit civic engagement organization, took a critical approach to how the Republican candidates performed at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Mi Familia Vota national field director Francisco Heredia said Latinos learned about Sen. Marco Rubio's, R-Fla., improved debate practice as he deflected criticisms for skipping Senate votes. Heredia also cited Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Donald Trump's accusations aimed at the media as efforts to avoid answering questions on their respective records.
"None of them addressed the every day issues facing workers, Latinos and immigrant communities," Heredia said. "But here is what Latino voters know. Trump still wants to build a fence and make Mexico pay for it. Rubio has become a turncoat on immigration -- the immigration plan with a path to citizenship he once cosponsored has been trashed to win support of the party's nativist base. Rubio even opposes the family based visas his family used to enter the U.S."
Heredia noted the only Republican presidential candidate to still support comprehensive immigration reform is Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. He said the debate offered nothing to better the candidates' standing with the Latino electorate.
Sonia Melendez Reyes, deputy communications director for Emily's List, a left-wing organization supporting Democratic women in legislative office, said all 14 candidates -- including the four from the lower-tier debate -- are not having a serious conversation about the economic issues affecting Latinas and their families.
"Economic policies like equal pay, affordable child care and raising the federal minimum wage are especially important to Latinas since they are the group that earns the least -- only making 55 cents for every dollar a white, non-Hispanic man makes. This means that Latinas have to work an additional 10 months -- until October 30th of this year -- to equal what white, non-Hispanic men made last year alone," Melendez Reyes said.
To watch the full CNBC debate, click here.
For the latest updates, follow Latin Post's Politics Editor Michael Oleaga on Twitter: @EditorMikeO or contact via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Subscribe to Latin Post!
Sign up for our free newsletter for the Latest coverage!